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The Hockey News Daily Dish: Oct. 31

Yesterday at

In his Screen Shots column, Adam Proteau writes it is time for new leadership in the NHL.

In his blog, Ryan Dixon writes about various strange beginnings to the season.

Edward Fraser writes about Tampa goalie Mike Smith and the Saw-themed masks him and Olaf Kolzig are sporting for charity.

In Prep Watch, our weekly look at minor hockey, we profile Justin Sefton of the Notre Dame Hounds program.

A Scout’s Life discusses the trials and tribulations of travel.

Player News…

Jassen Cullimore, D, Florida Panthers

2008/10/31: Veteran defenseman Jassen Cullimore, who recently re-signed with the Florida Panthers, has been unable to play yet due to visa issues. As a result, the Panthers skated with just five defensemen in the lineup on Thursday against Ottawa, with tough guy Wade Belak serving as an emergency blueliner.

Steven Stamkos, C, Tampa Bay Lightning

2008/10/31: Tampa Bay Lightning rookie forward Steven Stamkos picked up his first two NHL goals in Saturday's game at Buffalo and he added an assist with a plus-2 rating in 13:47 of ice time. He entered play with just one assist through the first eight games. Vincent Lecavalier was also good for a pair of assists and a plus-1 rating.

Shane Doan, RW/LW, Phoenix Coyotes

2008/10/31: Phoenix Coyotes forward Shane Doan was apparently happy to return to the team's top scoring line on Thursday against the Penguins, as he finished with two goals, an assist and a plus-2 rating with five shots on goal. INTEL: Doan was on a unit with Olli Jokinen and Todd Fedoruk. Jokinen also scored a goal and finished at plus-2, while Fedoruk was scoreless. Forward Steve Reinprecht also chipped in with two assists, as did defenseman Zbynek Michalek.

Nikolai Zherdev, LW/RW, New York Rangers

2008/10/31: New York Rangers forward Nikolai Zherdev scored a goal and he added an assist with a plus-2 rating in 16:46 of ice time in Thursday's game against Atlanta. INTEL: After a four-game scoreless run, Zherdev has posted three goals and seven points during his current four-game points streak. He'll try to make it five games in a row on Saturday at Toronto.

Joey MacDonald, G, New York Islanders

2008/10/31: New York Islanders goaltender Joey MacDonald allowed three goals on 28 shots in Thursday's overtime loss at Philadelphia as he got another start in place of the injured Rick DiPietro. Yann Danis dressed as MacDonald's backup. It's likely MacDonald will get another start on Saturday night against Montreal unless coach Scott Gordon chooses to let Danis face his former team.

Martin Biron, G, Philadelphia Flyers

2008/10/31: Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Martin Biron allowed just two goals on 36 shots in an overtime win against the Islanders on Thursday. INTEL: Biron started the season 0-3-1 and he allowed at least four goals in each of his first three games. Biron has rebounded nicely in winning his past three outings. He'll try to keep it going on Sunday afternoon against the Oilers.

Patric Hornqvist, LW/RW, Nashville Predators

2008/10/31: Nashville Predators forward Patric Hornqvist scored another goal and he finished with a plus-2 rating in Thursday's game against the Oilers. INTEL: Hornqvist posted just one point on a goal through his first six games. However, he is now in the midst of a three-game points streak with a goal and three assists. He'll try to extend that streak in Saturday's game against Florida.

Mathieu Garon, G, Edmonton Oilers

2008/10/31: Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mathieu Garon allowed three goals on just 25 shots in Thursday's loss at Nashville. INTEL: Garon fired out of the chute, winning his first three starts of the season. However, he has dropped three starts in a row and that might be good news for backups Dwayne Roloson and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. It's uncertain who will get the starting nod on Saturday at Carolina.

Pekka Rinne, G, Nashville Predators

2008/10/31: Nashville Predators backup goaltender Pekka Rinne allowed just one goal on 28 shots in Thursday's game against the Oilers to pick up the victory. INTEL: It was Rinne's first start and victory of the season, but he might see more playing time from coach Barry Trotz if he can perform like this. Starter Dan Ellis is just 4-4-1 with a 3.28 GAA and .873 save percentage in nine games.

Injury News…

Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins

2008/10/31: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby suffered an undisclosed injury in Thursday's road loss at Phoenix. INTEL: Crosby was apparently injured in the second period but only left the contest in the third frame. Consider him day to day until his status is updated.

Pascal Dupuis, LW/RW, Pittsburgh Penguins

2008/10/31: The Pittsburgh Penguins played without winger Pascal Dupuis (undisclosed) on Thursday night at Phoenix. He was replaced by winger Chris Minard, who was recalled from the American League's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins earlier in the day.

Owen Nolan, RW, Minnesota Wild

2008/10/31: The Minnesota Wild were without wingers Owen Nolan and Derek Boogaard for Thursday's home game against the Montreal Canadiens. Nolan has a lower body injury, while Boogaard's ailment is undisclosed. Meanwhile, defenseman Erik Reitz missed the game due to the flu. As a result, 19-year-old rookie winger Colton Gillies and defenseman Tomas Mojzis dressed in the 2-1 loss to the Habs.

Jason Strudwick, D/LW, Edmonton Oilers

2008/10/31: Veteran defenseman Jason Strudwick was out of the Edmonton Oilers lineup for the second consecutive game Thursday at Nashville due to a shoulder injury. As a result, Ladislav Smid has been back in action for the Oil during Strudwick's absence. The latter is considered day to day.

Rick DiPietro, G, New York Islanders

2008/10/31: New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro (lower body injury) did not even dress as the backup for Thursday's overtime loss at Philadelphia. INTEL: Coach Scott Gordon told New York Newsday that he did not even know where DiPietro was on Wednesday, as he did not watch practice from the stands. Joey MacDonald continues to start and Yann Danis is the backup.

Brad May, LW, Anaheim Ducks

2008/10/31: The official website of the Anaheim Ducks is reporting that veteran tough guy forward Brad May is expected to miss two weeks after an MRI revealed that he has a sprained right knee. He suffered the injury in Wednesday's game against the Red Wings. When the Ducks need added toughness, George Parros will be called upon.

Marcel Goc, C/W, San Jose Sharks

2008/10/30: San Jose Sharks forward Marcel Goc (back) was unable to suit up for Thursday's game against the Red Wings, as he second straight game. The fourth line forward is considered day to day.

Matthew Lombardi, C, Calgary Flames

2008/10/30: Calgary Flames forward Matthew Lombardi (shoulder) missed his third straight game on Thursday against the Bruins. The Calgary Herald added that Lombardi has not yet returned to practice, although he was able to skate on his own earlier this week. His return date is still uncertain until he can return to practice.

Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals

2008/10/30: Washington Capitals GM George McPhee told the Associated Press on Thursday afternoon that there was no update on forward Alex Ovechkin's return from Russia. He left the team earlier this week to travel overseas to be with his ailing grandfather and it is uncertain if he'll be able to play on Saturday in Buffalo.

Brian Rolston, C/W, New Jersey Devils

2008/10/30: New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told the North Jersey Record that veteran forward Brian Rolston (ankle) has been working out off of the ice and doing "everything except skating." INTEL: There is still no timetable for Rolston's return, but he remains on injured reserve and is likely to be sidelined until at least early November.

Tom Poti, D, Washington Capitals

2008/10/30: is reporting that Washington Capitals defenseman Tom Poti (groin) was able to practice on Thursday. Coach Bruce Boudreau said that he wants to see Poti make it through a couple of practices before giving the green light to return to game action. INTEL: If Poti is able to practice on Friday without any setbacks, he might be able to skate in Saturday's game at Buffalo.

Sergei Zubov, D, Dallas Stars

2008/10/30: The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Stars defenseman Sergei Zubov (hip) will not be eligible to return from injured reserve until Nov. 7 instead of Saturday, which is when the Stars thought he was eligible to return.

Viktor Kozlov, RW/C, Washington Capitals

2008/10/30: is reporting that Washington Capitals forward Viktor Kozlov (knee) was unable to practice on Thursday due to soreness in his knee. INTEL: Kozlov will have two full days off to rest until the Caps hit the ice for game action on Saturday night in Buffalo. Consider him day to day.

Martin Gerber, G, Ottawa Senators

2008/10/30: Ottawa Senators goaltender Martin Gerber (leg) did not start Thursday's game at Florida, but he was able to dress as the backup to starter Alex Auld. INTEL: Gerber had missed the past week due to injury. The Senators returned Brian Elliott to Binghamton of the AHL with Gerber healthy enough to dress.

Freddy Meyer, D, New York Islanders

2008/10/30: New York Islanders defenseman Freddy Meyer was forced to miss his second straight game on Thursday night at Philadelphia due to an abdominal injury. Brett Skinner was skating as the team's sixth defenseman in his absence.


Pavel Valentenko, D, Montreal Canadiens

2008/10/30: Reports out of Russia suggest Montreal Canadiens defense prospect Pavel Valentenko has left the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs to sign a three-year contract with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL. INTEL: Let the games continue between NHL and KHL clubs. Poaching players under contract appears to be the "in" thing to do nowadays in international hockey circles.

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